Valve's E3 announcement that Left 4 Dead 2 would hit this year, almost one year to the day after the original, has seen mixed response. Nearly 25,000 fans of the original have pledged not to purchase the sequel. Why?
As outlined in the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott group's manifesto, that group of fans believe that the "stand-alone sequel will split the communities and decrease the quality of multiplayer gaming." Miffed fans believe that the content so far revealed "does not warrant a stand-alone, full-priced sequel and should instead become updates (free or otherwise)" for the original Left 4 Dead.
We asked Valve for a response to those claims.
"Doing a sequel in one year is new for Valve. But providing ongoing support for our titles after the initial launch isn't - it has been part of our philosophy since Half-Life was released ten and half years ago," said Valve president Gabe Newell in a statement to Kotaku. "We see no reason to change that and will continue to support the over three million customers in the L4D community."
"E3 is a trade event where developers and publishers come to announce new games for the coming year. L4D2 — like any new product — requires an appearance at the show," Newell said.
Valve says, it will continue to support the original with continued updates.
"Some in the community are concerned that the announcement of L4D2 implied a change in our plans for L4D1. We aren't changing our plans for L4D1."
Whether that will allay fears that Left 4 Dead will be left behind by some community members remains to be seen, but Valve notes that it hasn't abandoned the original.
"In addition to the recently released Survival Pack, we are releasing authoring tools for Mod makers, community matchmaking, 4x4 matchmaking, and more new content during the coming months for L4D1," Newell says. "We also agree with our customers that there needs to be an interoperability plan for players of L4D1 and L4D2, as multiplayer games are driven by the cohesiveness of their community."
When we first went hands-on with the Steam version of Left 4 Dead 2 at E3, we felt that the title felt awfully similar to the original. Some of that may simply be due to incremental updates already revealed. As Valve's Chet Faliszek told us at the time, there are still plenty of details left to be doled out, including information on new weapons, two new Special Infected types and more.
Faliszek said at E3 that he very much understood the "gut reaction" to the uncharacteristically Valve move to launch such a quick follow-up. But, he said, as people learn more about the game over the next few months, they'll see why "none of the additions [in Left 4 Dead 2] are trivial."